Wentworth Prison is Back!

0
Screen Capture: Tammy Macintosh as Kaz Proctor in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth
Screen Capture: Tammy Macintosh as Kaz Proctor in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth



Which Wentworth inmates will survive the seventh season? Since the episode has only been seen on Australian teleivsion thus far, the much anticipated Wentworth’s seventh season premiere, “Blood Wedding,” the rest of the world is waiting to see which direction the series is going. Despite this point, for anyone fortunate to see the premiere, it does not disappoint. The level of drama in the series reaches new heights. Each of the prison staff and inmates seems to have more than a reasonable share of issues to resolve.

Each Wentworth season consists of ten episodes. While this is not typical of American productions, it’s Australian. Australians look for quality over quantity.

Wentworth Promotional Poster for seaon six. Image Credit: IMDb and Foxtel.
Wentworth Promotional Poster for seaon six. Image Credit: IMDb

SPOILER WARNING: If you have yet to see the season seven premiere, please stop reading. Watch the episode before you read beyond this point.

The seventh season premiere picks up the action only a few moths after the sixth season leaves off.

When a prison inmate says, “there will be no trouble from me, I can promise you that,” you can guarantee there will be significant trouble coming to our television screens during the season.

At Knife Point

The choreography for the fight scene between Kaz Proctor (Tammy Macintosh) and a drug addicted-inmate (Geraldine Hakewill) looks a tad staged. Perhaps it was overly rehearsed. This is not typical of Wentworth episodes.

Prison officers try to take control of the situation, but the inmate is able to take Wentworth Prison Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) at knifepoint.

With a new stash of drugs from Marie Winter (Susie Porter), the inmate is as high as a kite. The new prison psychiatrist, Dr Greg Miller (David de Lautour), talks the addict down before the issue escalates out of control.

Wentworth Prison Welcomes a New Psychiatrist

Screen Capture: Bernard Curry, David de Lautour and Kate Atkinson as Jake Stewart, Dr Greg Miller and Vera Bennett in Wentworth
Screen Capture: Bernard Curry, David de Lautour and Kate Atkinson as Jake Stewart, Dr Greg Miller and Vera Bennett, respectively, in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth

It was only a matter of time before the Greg Miller character makes his Wentworth Prison debut. The character, for 88 episodes of the original series, was personified by Barry Quin. How will this re-imagined Greg be any different from the one we saw in the original series?

Will Jackson Resigns

Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva), Wentworth’s deputy governor, wants to resign his position at the prison. This is not a good time for the prison governor. Vera is pregnant with Jake Stewart’s (Bernard Curry) baby. The governor needs her right-hand man to step into her position while she takes some personal time.

Is it Wedding Bells for Rita and Ray?

Rita Connors (Leah Purcell) walks down the aisle. Screen Capture: Wentworth Prison
Screen Capture: Leah Purcell as Rita Connors in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth. Rita walks down the aisle.

We should have known the Wentworth writers were not going to allow a happily ever after scenario. Personal histories always bite these characters in the butt when they least expect it. Someone on the inside must have lagged on the happy couple to the drug gang. Considering the looks Marie gives Rita Connors (Leah Purcell) earlier in the episode, the former brothel queen is the most likely candidate.

When Marie sees a small aircraft flying over Wentworth with a banner reading “Marry Me Rita!,” the inmate’s facial expression suggests a plot is formulating in the back of her mind. Revenge is very much on the cards. This conclusion is further cemented when Sue ‘Boomer’ Jenkins (Katrina Milosevic) blurts out there will be a wedding.

Screen Capture: Leah Purcell as Rita Connors in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth.
Screen Capture: Leah Purcell as Rita Connors in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth.

Rita reveals the truth of her identity as an undercover cop to Ray Houser (Shane Connor) but he still wants to marry her. There is a touching walk-down the aisle-like scene. Ray is outside the prison. He looks happy with his decision. Wedding bells are close but not close enough. Gang members catch up with the groom at Wentworth’s gates. With two blasts of a sawed-off shotgun, Ray is taken out of commission.

Screen Capture: Shane Connor as Ray Houser in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth.
Screen Capture: Shane Connor as Ray Houser in the Lara Radulovich / Reg Watson co-created Wentworth.

Character Comparison

Screen Capture: Kate Atkinson (left) as Vera Bennett in Wentworth. Fiona Spence (right) as Vera Bennett in Prisoner.
Screen Capture: Kate Atkinson (left) as Vera Bennett in Wentworth. Fiona Spence (right) as Vera Bennett in Prisoner.

Even though Atkinson plays the same character as Spence did, the two interpretations of Vera Bennett are significantly different. In the original series, Spence’s Vera is a real nasty piece of work. Atkinson’s take on the same character has real humanity.

Final Thoughts

The Wentworth premiere sets the tone for the rest of the season. Of course, at the beginning of the episode, there is a recap showing highlights from the sixth season. At some point in the coming episodes, Vera, Jake and Will must face questions about Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe), her escape from prison and her death.

Many of the original series characters which have yet to make appearances in this production will pop up during the coming seasons, there is no doubt. As seen with Greg, it’s only a matter of time. Which characters from the original series do you want to see re-imagined for Wentworth?

Even though the popularity of the series is global, the seventh season premiere is currently not available on Netflix. Nor does the series stream on Hulu. Someone might want to give Hulu executives a nudge in the right direction.